This blog suggests why, as consumers, we should boycott Beijing Olympics 2008!

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Not Greenhouse Gas, But Hardcore Air Pollution

Beijing Olympics 2008 is hosted by the most polluted city, Beijing, located in the most polluted country in the World, China.

China will become the number one greenhouse gas emitter probably next year. The Chinese tends to argue that with a population of 1.3 billion, the air pollution problem in China is not as serious as that in the U.S. with only 0.2 billion of people. This argument is unsound because the population in China with a standard of living as high as an average American is definitely smaller than 0.1
billion. This means that the air pollutants produced per high-level consumer in China is as least twice as high as that in the U.S.

Whereas many environmentalists are still debating which country should reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emission the most, the real problem has not even been touched, namely, hardcore air pollution as a result of the emission of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and carbon monoxide. The real air pollution problem in China is not carbon oxide emission, but the emission of toxic pollutants. Moreover, the air pollution problem in China is not at the consumers' level but at the producers' level.

The number of factories in China has been increasing because of the relocation of production from western countries to China. The Chinese government uses this as an excuse for the worsening of air quality in China. This seemingly correct excuse has some hidden flaw to it. In particular, an increase in industrialization if under careful control by the government should not result in serious air pollution facing China today. The absence of control by the Chinese government, perhaps as a result of corruption or incompetence, has resulted in uncontrolled pollution which is even worse than that occurred in Detroit back in the 1950's and the 1960's when many Americans were still ignorant.

Recently, the air pollution of China has not only affected itself, but also its neighbours, such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc. It was even reported that some remote islands, such as Guam, have become the victim of China's industrialization.

The question is whether one should allow the world's worst polluter to host the Olympics in 2008 when the Olympics symbolizes healthy sports and spirit?